How to Setup and Get Started with Calabash

how to get started with Calabash

Dear Testdroiders,

Calabash is quite popular choice for test automation framework and works fairly well with both Android and iOS. One of the greatest things with Calabash is that tests work seamlessly on both platforms if your application is identical. As this is not always the case you might need to break down test scripts for both platforms and we’ll take a look what it means and how to support both major platforms with your Calabash tests.

In this blog, I’ll walk you through of very basic setup, installations and how to get started with Calabash.

Get This Calabash 101 to Help You Setup Calabash Properly.

get-started-with-calabash-820

Calabash Prerequisites and Calabash Installation

Calabash requires Ruby to be installed on your machine. First, check whether you have Ruby installed on your machine:

$ ruby -v

We typically recommend the latest and greatest, but some older ones (e.g. 1.8.7 or 1.9.1) should work fine too. However, the latest versions are proven to work without any friction (especially with iOS) so if possible please upgrade to the latest one. We also recommend the use of Bundler to ensure you get all dependencies properly installed:

$ gem install bundler
$ bundle install

In addition, if you plan to manage several versions of Ruby, it’s recommended to use tools like rbenv.

If you are not using Mac or Linux, you can also install Ruby from RubyInstaller.org for Windows.

ANDROID

If you want to use Calabash for Android, make sure you have the latest and greatest SDK installed. Depending on which desktop you use it’s also always recommended to create an environmental variable ANDROID_HOME to point the location of unzipped or installed SDK folder.

$ gem install calabash-android

and you should have command calabash-android in your path.

iOS

For the host machine, it’s recommended to have (at least) Mac OS 10.10 (Yosemite) or 10.11 (El Capitan) with Xcode 6.x or 7.x. More information about Xcode 7.x installation can be found at Apple’s developer site.

To get Calabash for iOS installed, use the following command line:

$ gem install calabash-cucumber

After this, you have commands calabash-ios and cucumber in your path and 11 gems will be installed (including tilt, rack, rack-protection, sinatra, sim_launcher, command_runner_ng, CFPropertyList, run_loop, geocoder, edn, and calabash-cucumber).

If you are using Mac OS X, you could also use cURL to fetch all files to your machine:

$ curl -sSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/calabash/install/master/install-osx.sh | bash

This will install both calabash-android and calabash-ios, and if everything goes smoothly, you should see something as follows on your console:

Preparing Ruby 2.1.6-p336...
######################################################################## 100.0%
Installing gems, this may take a little while...
######################################################################## 100.0%
Preparing sandbox...
######################################################################## 100.0%
Done! Installed:
calabash-ios:       0.18.2
calabash-android:   0.6.0
Execute 'calabash-sandbox update' to check for gem updates.
Execute 'calabash-sandbox' to get started!

Troubleshooting

If you are installing Calabash for the first time, you should restart the terminal after installation, as not all done during installation might not be in use. Simply restarting the bash session will do the trick. After restarting the console, you can quickly verify this by calling calabash-android or calabash-ios to see if anything gets printed on console.

Now, depending again on which desktop OS you use you might need to install specific versions of Ruby. In case with Ruby on Ubuntu or Mac please check this troubleshooting documentation.

The Basic Calabash Setup

After you have verified that the environment is properly configured, we can move to generate a basic file structure for your first Calabash test.

Create a temp directory for both Calabash Android and iOS tests:

$ mkdir calabash-test-android
$ cd calabash-test-android
$ calabash-android gen
...
$ cd ..
$ mkdir calabash-test-ios
$ cd calabash-test-ios
$ calabash-ios gen

You’ll be asked few questions, plus to press enter, and as a result the following folder structure should have been created:

Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 11.56.16 AM

Now let’s look at those files what is automatically generated for your first test foundation.

Examples

Calabash for Android generates you my_first.feature file that is an example of a Calabash feature:

Feature: Login feature

  Scenario: As a valid user I can log into my app
    When I press "Login"
    Then I see "Welcome to coolest app ever"

The feature describes a basic behavior (scenario) or several of them in readable and easy to understand language. These ‘scenarios’ can be grouped together logically under the Feature definition. As in this example, Feature definitions are typically given a name and optional short description of the behavior.

The generated Android test bundle of files also contains empty file for Step Definitions in calabash_steps.rb.

The iOS example includes more details on Steps. These steps usually begin with one of the keywords: Given, When, Then, And, and But, however, they don’t have to, they can use * in place of those keywords. Cucumber language does not distinguish between these keywords or *. Instead, they are meant to provide a language hint based on what will happen.

The sample.features found in the root of calabash-test-ios contain the basic example of Calabash Features and Scenenario use:

Feature: Sample Feature

Scenario: Sample Scenario
  Given the app has launched
  And I have done a specific thing
  When I do something
  Then something should happen

These keywords are defined in sample_steps.rb. For example, Given looks as follows:

Given(/^the app has launched$/) do
  wait_for do
    !query("*").empty?
  end
end

And then And which includes a basic dummy example of what could go inside the given keyword. These Step definitions are somewhat like code behind these scenarios. These functions are the ones that translate all readable and human-friendly test into runnable actions.

And(/^I have done a specific thing$/) do
  # Example: Given I am logged in
  #  wait_for do
  #    !query("* marked:'username'").empty?
  #  end
  #
  #  touch("* marked:'username'")
  #  wait_for_keyboard
  #  keyboard_enter_text("cleveruser27")
  #
  #  touch("* marked:'password'")
  #  wait_for_keyboard
  #  keyboard_enter_text("pa$$w0rd")
  #
  #  wait_for_element_exists("* marked:'Login'")
  #  touch("* marked:'Login'")
  did_something = true

  unless did_something
    fail 'Expected to have done something'
  end
end

This example includes some steps of how test would be progressed and what would happen in terms of test execution and progress. Naturally, these step definitions can be configured and build to be very specific for your application and test.

We’ll be deep diving into Features, Step definitions, Scenarios and generally how to build your first Calabash tests for both platforms in our next blog. Stay tuned!

  • Arul Frances

    Awesome and a very great effort in putting the information at one place. I am newbie to Calabash.. And this article helped me a lot. Thanks a ton dear Author..

    Best Regards,
    Arul Frances S

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